On April 8 and 9, local governments and their national associations from 7 countries attended the workshop to Enhance their Capacity in Localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This was co-organized by UCLG, jointly with United Cities and Local Governments Asia-Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), LOGIN Asia, Development Partners Network on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DeLoG), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and hosted by the National League of Local Councils of Cambodia.
The meeting was the opportunity for local government associations to share their experiences and knowledge on how to raise awareness on the role of local government in achieving the global goals, improve coordination and alignment of national strategies and local plans and budgets in addition to being actively involved in the national reporting process.
Throughout the workshop, UCLG as well as development partners shared available tools, knowledge and stories for the participants to get inspired and share their own experiences beyond the two-days’ workshop. Among others, the teams recommended consulting the Webinar Best practices of Local Government Associations in the implementation and reporting of the SDGs and databases such as the Culture 21 database or the Metropolis “u.s.e” platform
The National League of Local Councils of Cambodia highlighted the importance of learning from other countries and adapting the framework of the SDGs to national and local contexts. The Cambodian national government is currently engaged in drafting a Voluntary National Review (VNR), involving the national association and holding regional consultations. Their VNR will be presented to the High Level Political Forum in 2019.
UCLG presented some of the conclusions of the regional chapter of the forthcoming Fifth Report of the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralisation (GOLD V). The participating national associations from Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka also provided critical insights that will be reflected in the third report to the HLPF on the role of Local and Regional Governments’ and Associations.
Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are at different stages in the process. In all countries, a key issue is how to develop coherent frameworks and make sure that policies are not conflicting with each other. This is particularly important in the case of tourism, which adds pressure on local public services such as waste collection; while being a fundamental for decent work and economic growth.
Overall, participants agreed that, in the short term, their objective was to build stronger multi-level dialogues with national SDG units and align ministries to achieve coherent policy support and a coordinated process towards common goals. Consultations and dialogue are critical to achieve a meaningful stocktaking assessment of the progress made towards planning, implementing and monitoring sustainable development at the local level.